October 7, 2011

Never Give Up The Music

Ernie was featured in the Oct. 2011 Friendly Wheels e-newsletter, sign up to receive Amigo's e-newsletter here

From professors to business owners to philanthropists, our family of Amigo owners is active and inspiring. Ernie Douglas is no exception. For more than 60 years he has been sharing his musical talent inspired by those who told him he couldn't do something.

Amigo owner Ernie Douglas, a professional musician of 60 years, found out after high school that, "You don't just give up music."

Born and raised in Topeka, Kan., Ernie contracted polio at the age of three. Growing up, his biggest inspiration was anyone telling him he couldn't do something because of his weak legs. 

Then he'd go on to prove them wrong; although he laughs and admits that he never could master roller-skating.

Ernie dabbled in a few short-lived employment opportunities over the years, never giving up his passion for music.  Walking unaided for nearly 65 years, Ernie turned to Amigo six years ago. At the time he bought the Amigo he was actively employed full time and relied on it daily. "I love my Amigo. I'd be dead in the water without it." 

Today, Ernie uses his TravelMate once or twice a week when playing a gig. His Dodge minivan allows him to sit on the back and, using his upper body strength, easily assemble or disassemble the Amigo.

Enjoy a visit to Ernie's website to see and hear him play! He owned his own restaurant/jazz club called the Catfish Hollow Restaurant in Topeka throughout the 70's and 80's. Ernie has three children and is grandfather to five.

If you are ever in the DC area, Ernie performs for Sunday brunch diners on the Dandy Dinner Boat  moored in Alexandria, Va.  The "boat" has proven to be a lasting gig. "I've been aboard the boat for 11 years and enjoy being there."

We're glad Amigo is able to assist in keepin' the tunes comin', Ernie! 

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